The shadow of the Pharaoh and the mark of the Nile‘s rich harvest will always characterise this timeless Egyptian breakfast. Ful medames (fava beans with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil) falls lightly on this Mediterranean version.
500 g fava (brown) beans, dried, soaked overnight
60 g garlic, crushed
30 ml olive oil
5 g marjoram, finely chopped
5 g mint, finely chopped
2 green / red chillies, chopped / 1 tsp chilli sauce
2 sprigs parsley
Salt, large pinch
Boil beans in salted water until soft, drain, add garlic and mash with a wooden spoon. Mix with oil and press through a sieve, add herbs and spices.
Croatians eat this flatbread with the cheese, prosciutto and sardines of the Dalmatian coast. Traditionally made with yeast from must or with a sourdough starter, it is not unlike foccacia in shape and style. The amount of olive oil to coat the dough to crisp it during baking is personal. Also made as a cake-bread, the herbs of the Mediterreanean are the commond denominator.
500 g white wheat flour, t500
325 ml warm water
45 ml + 15 ml olive oil
20 g yeast
15 g coarse salt
1 tsp ginger (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp chopped herbs from marjoram, rosemary, sage, chopped, soaked in a little oil
Add the warm water and sugar to the yeast and leave to rise for 10 minutes. Sieve flour into a large bowl, add two tablespoons of olive oil to the flour along with the ginger and a teaspoon of salt. Whisk the yeast mixture, add to the flour and knead into a smooth dough, about 20 minutes. Smear bowl with three tablespoons of oil, place the dough in the bowl, cover with damp cloth and leave to rise for four hours.
Cut a piece of parchment to fit into your baking trays, something around 25 cm x 35 cm. Shape the dough to fit into the tray, push holes in the dough with your fingers and cover with remaining oil, allowing some of the oil to form in pools in the holes. Sprinkle with large salt, cover with foil and leave for an hour. Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes. Brush herbs onto the surface and bake for another 5 minutes.
This pork roll from Latvia is a traditional dish of the region and it really does not need an introduction.
1 kg pork belly with skin
350 g chicken breast
10 g sea salt
100 g shallots, sliced
50 g raisins, soaked in 100 ml hot water
30 g almonds, ground
20 g boletus dried, soaked in 200 ml hot water, chopped or 100 g white mushrooms sauteéd in 15 g butter, cooled
15 g mustard
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried sage
2 long sprigs of thyme
Oil, for frying
1 litre water
1 celery stalk
5 g fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
Make the vegetable stock, strain and keep warm. Sauté shallots over a low heat for ten minutes, add mushrooms and cook until all the liquid has evaporated, add herbs and seasonings. Separate the layers of the pork belly, flatten inner layers to about 1 cm, then flatten the chicken to 3 mm. Score the skin side of the pork, season with salt.
Place the pork belly layers including the skin on a clean surface, arrange to form a long rectangular shape no more than 1 cm thick, with the skin side down. Rub mustard into the flesh, season and sprinkle almonds.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Press raisins into pork flesh, spoon the mushroom mixture onto the central area, place chicken pieces on top, roll up and tie with string.
Pour some stock into an oven tray, place the roll on a rack in the centre of the tray, cover and seal with foil. Bake for two hours at 160°C. Remove foil, bake for a further 60 minutes, turning the roll once and basting it several times. Rest for 15 minutes, slice and serve with mashed potatoes and caramelised carrot sticks.
Marmitako is a traditional Basque fish stew, with all the flavours of the region – land, valley and sea, and generally prepared in an earthenware pot, and baked. We are slow-cooking it on top of the stove.
1 kg fresh tuna, cut into 2 cm dice
1 kg potatoes, cut into 2 cm dice
800 g tomatoes, chopped small
600 ml fish broth
400 g onions, sliced thin
5 pimientos / red peppers, cut in strips
200 ml white wine
60 ml olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp fresh green herbs (lovage, marjoram, parsley, thyme), chopped small
30 g smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
Dried marjoram, large pinch
Sauté onion in the olive oil in a large heavy-based pot over medium heat for 10 minutes, add garlic, fry for three minutes. Add peppers and tomatoes, increase heat and reduce for five minutes until the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. Add tuna and salt. Brown the fish, then pour in the stock and wine. Cook for five minutes, add potatoes, paprika, bay leaves and dried marjoram, bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are cooked, about 30 minutes. Add herbs.
A speciality of the French Alps, farcement and farçon are generally interchangeable in Savoy, although it would seem that farçon recipes in the rest of France exclude the bacon to produce a vegetarian version baked in a casserole-type dish in the oven. The elegant farcement mixture is contained in a mould, the rustic farçon mixture in the frying pan or skillet, so don’t worry if you cannot find a suitable utensil, just bake it in the oven. Farçon is generally eaten hot but it is just as delicious made cold.
1.2 kg potatoes, cooked whole, peeled
150 ml milk
100 g apples, cubed small
100 g pears, cubed small or 50gdried pears, sliced thin
100 g raisins
30 ml olive oil
15 g sugar (optional)
1 sprig rosemary, chopped small
1 tsp dried or fresh marjoram
1 tsp fresh thyme
Black pepper, large pinch
Cinnamon, large pinch
Nutmeg, large pinchSalt, large pinch
Purée the potatoes in milk with one or two eggs, add fruit, herbs and spices, pour into a tray greased with oil, bake in oven at 180ºC for 30 minutes. For the cold version purée the potatoes in milk, add choice of fruit, herbs and spices and extra salt and some sugar.